Portland’s first television station, KPTV, broadcast its first programming on September 20, 1952. KPTV, which originally broadcast on channel 27, was the world’s first commercial UHF band television station (The Oregonian, 19 September 1952).
The test pattern (pictured to the right), which began at 12:01am on September 18, 1952, was the very first telecast from KPTV’s Council Crest tower. The programming on September 20, starting at 4:30pm, featured three shows:
- The first, sponsored by RCA, was a half hour film about the first experimental UHF station, KC2XAKUHF channel 24, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It was introduced with a speech by Herbert Mayer, who ran Empire Coil Company, KPTV’s parent company.
- At 5pm the station joined the network to present the All Star Review, a one-hour program starring Jimmie Durante and Margaret Truman.
- Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows came on at 6pm, and the station signed off at 7:30pm.
For most of that first year KPTV used shows from all the networks: ABC, CBS, DuMont, and NBC. On June 1, 1953 it became an NBC affiliate, and KOIN, Portland’s first VHF TV station, began broadcasting a year later as a CBS affiliate.
Further reading: Yesterday’s KPTV